I've been collecting WW2 souvenirs for years. My first piece was a WW2 German army belt. It smelt of tobacco and old leather and had dried mud in the buckle. It was the closest thing to time travel, and I was hooked.
Most WW2 collectors have a focus. Some like helmets and daggers, others are into rare patches or photos. I know one guy who's collected over 300 inert Japanese grenades. My focus is GI bringbacks from Hitler's Berghof, Eagle's Nest and Obersalzberg in southern Bavaria. During the final days of the war, this is where thousands of punch-drunk SS and other Nazi diehards planned to turn the allied tide, or die trying.
Instead, it became the finishing line for countless war-weary, souvenir-hungry, GIs. The first-comers took Hitler's booze, silverware and wine glasses. Within weeks, they were wrenching off light fixtures and pulling up the carpets. Today, pieces of Hitler's home still turn up in attics, flea markets and army trunks – and each one tells a story.
Click here to get in touch. I'm always looking to buy and trade new pieces for my collection.